Certainly, much interest in the story has to do with professional wrestling personalities going outside the squared circle bubble and, well, doing things you don't often think wrestlers would do. But Heyman certainly isn't the first star of the ring to take up a non-wrestling vocation, and he won't be the last.
Many wrestlers have parlayed their talents either in sports (like MMA) or film acting, but for this list, we're going to go outside of those jam-packed categories to see what some wrestlers have done with their lives outside the ring. Some of these particular career paths are hard to imagine a brawny professional wrestler taking up, but they're all legitimate. Here's a sample of what we mean.
10. Scott Steiner - Restaurateur
If you ever find yourself in Acworth, Georgia for any reason, be sure to look for the Shoney's on Highway 92. Its owner is none other than my hook-up and yours, Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner. In April 2016, Steiner opened his own Shoney's, a casual, family-friendly establishment known for its diner-style menu.
Steiner's entrepreneurship was made known to a wider audience when shortly after his Shoney's opened, Scotty appeared on the news as a witness to a road rage incident that involved a gun being fired. Steiner calmly spoke to the reporter about what he saw, and, notably, no mention was made of his wrestling fame, rather that he was simply a "restaurant owner". The clip went viral, as while the staff at CBS 46 knew Steiner only as a restaurateur, we all know him as something more.
9. Shad Gaspard - Stage Actor
The larger half of Cryme Tyme has quite a menacing presence due to his towering frame, as well as knowing how to carry himself from his youthful days as a toughman contest fighter. Shad has also parlayed his immensity into the acting world, with films on his resume such as Think Like a Man Too and Get Hard (where he played a character named Big Ass Julian).
But Shad's forays as an actor have gone beyond screen - he's also taken the stage for theatre productions. In 2011, Shad performed in a modern William Shakespeare production in Tampa, FL, and two years later, performed in a stage version of Pugilist, playing the first African-American world boxing champion, Jack Johnson. So if you think drama club is for wimps, tell that to Mr. Gaspard, if you're so bold.
8. CM Punk - Comic Book Writer
It's a good thing when you can turn your hobbies and interests into career opportunities, and it seems to be a theme throughout Punk's adult life. Punk loved wrestling, so he became a wrestler. Punk loves mixed martial artists, so he took to the Octagon. Punk loves comic books, so he eventually would have a hand in creating such content.
Some of Punk's contributions on the comic book front have been in the Marvel library, including Thor Annual #1 (February 2015), the ongoing Drax series (11 issues between 2015-16), and a one-shot of Master of Kung Fu, which was published in November 2017. Punk also co-wrote The Most Cursed as part of Vertigo Comics' Strange Sports Stories #3, released May 2015.
7. Asuka - Video Game Journalist
One look at the life of Asuka outside the ring, and you'll see that she's been quite a busy woman. These days, Asuka owns a salon in Yokohama, Japan called Another Heaven, which was famously patronized by Kenny Omega. Previously, Asuka has designed graphics for video games, including those for Nintendo DS, as well as mobile apps.
Additionally, early on in her wrestling career, Asuka was a writer for XBOX Magazine. It was through this endeavour that Microsoft actually sponsored Asuka (then Kana), with the wrestler actually wearing an XBOX 360 logo on her ring attire. That's quite the diverse resume, all in addition to being one of the most beloved and gifted women's grapplers of her generation. How many Royal Rumble winners can say they've been sponsored by Microsoft?
6. Muhammad Hassan - School Administrator
Hassan's controversial exit from WWE in 2005 seemed to spell the end of his wrestling career, prior to a sudden resurgence on the independent scene this past spring. For close to 13 years, Hassan was out of the business entirely and had moved on with his life. In 2002, the real-life Mark Copani left school at SUNY Buffalo, where he was studying for a degree in history, in order to begin a career as a wrestler. Once out of the sport, Copani re-entered the world of education.
Sometime after hanging up the boots, Copani earned a masters degree and became an assistant school principal at a high school in the Syracuse area. Copani had also served as a social studies teacher, prior to becoming an administrator.
5. Dolph Ziggler - Stand-Up Comedian
When you think of wrestlers who are known for eliciting intentional laughs from the crowd, names like The Rock, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bobby Heenan, and Santino Marella all come to mind. Ziggler, meanwhile, has been more known for his cocksure personality and his spring-loaded sells of high impact moves. Yet it's The Show Off that has made a bit of headway into the world of stand-up.
Ziggler has parlayed his love of all forms of comedy, as well as his acquired notoriety as a WWE star, into performing sets at clubs like Caroline's in New York and Pack Theater in Los Angeles. Ziggler has also appeared on the Comedy Central series Roast Battle, and has another connection to the medium - for a time, he dated comedic actress Amy Schumer.
4. Chavo Guerrero - Fight Coordinator
Viewers of the Netflix series GLOW (based on the women's wrestling enterprise of the mid-1980s) may have seen Chavito pop up playing the role of El Mayordomo a time or two. The acting foray hasn't been Guerrero's only experience working on the show - in fact, he's had much deeper involvement in making GLOW work.
Guerrero has additionally provided insight for the show in a consultant's role, but most importantly, has actually coordinated the show's action and stunts, while training the actresses in the basic tenets of pro wrestling. Coincidentally, Chavo's uncle Mando served as a trainer for the original GLOW cast way back when, although Chavo basically trains the women for specific match sequences that will go into the show. Guerrero has noted in interviews that the actresses are trained in a legitimate ring (without additional padding), so the training isn't all that different than if he were training future full-time wrestlers.
3. Brodus Clay - Political Pundit
When you think about cable news channels and their wall-to-wall gabfests, you tend to think of talking heads with neatly-coiffed hair and designer suits, bloviating loudly over the issues of the day. It's enough to make Jonathan Coachman's commentary sound downright melodic and informative, isn't it? That's why Brodus Clay is such an unusual presence on FOX News Channel programming - he doesn't fit that stereotype.
The super-heavyweight ex-Funkasaurus appears regularly on The Greg Gutfeld Show (under his TNA ring name of Tyrus), and is generally dressed down in a backward baseball cap and hooded sweatshirt, joking around with his fellow panellists about issues in politics and media. It's been a while since we've seen big Brodus between the ropes, but given a choice between that and working with Kat Timpf on the daily, many might steer toward the latter.
2. Kane - Insurer
When we found out that Kane was running for political office, the quips came rolling out, and not out of disrespect toward Kane. It's just that a man whose most famous character work saw him play a charbroiled demon with devilish fury coursing his veins could run for mayor was a fairly amusing idea. Of course, Glenn Jacobs is very bright and intelligent, and had he been primarily known for his other career, nobody would've batted an eye at his political ambitions.
When not donning the mask and tights, Jacobs and his wife Crystal run their own Allstate insurance agency in Knoxville, TN. Officially branded Jacobs Insurance Associates, the agency offers policies and quotes for both home and auto. The official website sees the Jacobs logo taglined: "The Insurance Superstars," because even in the insurance world, they hate the word "wrestler".
1. The Undertaker - Real Estate Investor
Like Kane, there's humour potential in imaging Undertaker doing real-life things while completely in character. Although Mark Calaway has proven to be a pretty normal, well-adjusted human being, it's too tempting to apply his darksidery to whatever ventures he takes part in outside the ring. Like if we were to tell you that Undertaker is involved in real estate, could you imagine him conducting an open house with the hat and the trenchcoat?
But kidding aside, Undertaker and business partner Scott Everhart have tagged up to make investments in real estate ventures across the United States, most notably an upscale $2.7M office building in Loveland, CO that they dubbed "The Calahart", a fusion of their surnames. Undertaker acknowledged in a 2007 interview that his celebrity status from being WWE's resident Lord of Darkness helped draw the interest of a number of prospective business partners.